Since their inception last summer, we've lauded the AS Roma women for their focus on youth. Sure, the team is buoyed by the veteran presence of Elisa Bartoli (a born and bred Roman and Azzurre stalwart) and Vanessa Bernauer (a champion in Germany and her native Switzerland) but our rampant enthusiasm for this squad is steeped in its absurd collection of up and comers. From Manuela Giugliano to Annamaria Serturini to Angelica Soffia to Heden Corrado to Agnese Bonfantini to Allyson Swaby, this team is bursting at the seams with young talent.
In terms of the under-23 players, there can be no doubt that Giugliano is the best and brightest of that bunch. After all, she was a key component in Italy's run through the 2019 World Cup at all of 22-years-old, showing the poise and creativity of a player much older.
However, when we dial it back a bit, to the youngest of Roma's U-23s, few among them shine quite as bright as Giada Greggi, Roma's 19-year-old midfielder. Greggi, who springs from the very same streets that gave us Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, Alessandro Florenzi, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Elisa Bartoli, has spent her entire career playing in the city of her birth, first for RES Roma and then making the switch to AS Roma for their inaugural campaign last season.
Undaunted by the switch to a larger, more publicized club, Greggi wasted little time establishing herself as a pivotal player in Betty Bavagnoli's setup, making 21 appearances and scoring two goals for Roma last season. While she hasn't found the back of the net this year, she's joined Giugliano, Bernauer and newcomer Andrine Hegerberg in arguably the league's most complete midfield.
Greggi's work with Roma hasn't gone unnoticed on the international scene either, as she earned her first Azzurre caps and scored her first international goal during Italy's most recent round of Euro 2021 qualifying, logging 44 minutes against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Malta.
October also brought with it a different kind of honor, one that only a select few have ever earned:
On October 12th against Empoli, Greggi came on as a second half substitute for club captain Elisa Bartoli, joining the ranks of Totti, De Rossi and Florenzi as Romans who have captained AS Roma. We've spoken at length about the bond between the Romans in the stands and the Romans on the pitch, but suffice it to say, it is a huge deal and a tremendous honor when a local kid ascends to the role of captain. And while you can’t quite see it in that photo, the ear-to-ear grin on her face spoke volumes about the weight of that moment.
2019 has indeed been a banner year for Greggi—suiting up for her beloved AS Roma, establishing herself as a first team player, wearing the captain's armband, getting capped by Italy—but the plaudits won't end there...
Today Tuttosport selected Greggi as their best Under-21 Italian Player. Greggi succeeds last year's winner, Verona forward Benedetta Glionna, and will join her fellow honorees, namely Joao Felix (winner of the Golden Boy award for best young male player in the world,) on December 16th in Turin.
If her 2019 is any indication, then Giada Greggi truly is the future of Roma.
Don't say we didn’t tell you.